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July 25, 2024

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Trent Summar & The New Row Mob
Trent Summar & The New Row Mob (VFR Records)

By: Geoff Melton

While the alt country scene has flourished over the past few years, it's a rare occasion when an artist finds themselves being accepted by the "cookie cutter" radio country crowd without surrendering their alt country integrity. With the release of their eponymous debut Trent Summar and The New Row Mob find themselves among that group, alongside the likes of The Mavericks and Dwight Yoakam. Although this is their debut, these guys are by no means newcomers. Frontman Summar was vocalist for the critically acclaimed Hank Flamingo, who released one album on Giant Records before calling it a day, and the New Row Mob is comprised of guitarists Kenny Vaughan (Trisha Yearwood, Lucinda Williams, Kim Richey) and Philip Wallace (another Hank Flamingo alumnus), drummer David Kennedy (Walk the West), bassist/harmony singer Jared Reynolds (Pumpskully) and Jerry Dale McFadden (the aforementioned Mavericks) doing a killer job on piano and keyboards. Although rooted in country, the band fleshes out their diverse sound with everything from Southern Rock and ragtime to honky-tonk and Rhythm and Blues. Standouts like the raucous "Paint Your Name In Purple" (also a great example of the wit and humor found throughout the disc, telling the story about one of the ultimate country compliments -> a stock car driver painting his girls name of the side of his stock car!!!), the country anthem "I'm Country" and "Colene" show the band can tear it up with the best of them, while "Be So Blue" and a killer cover of "It Never Rains In Southern California" highlight the softer side of the band.
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